The tagline on the storefront sign at Grom is “Il gelato come una
Grom comes to us from Torino, heretofore best known as the town where France’s Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin displayed a particular finger to the officials who forced him to re-do his Super-G race due to bad weather conditions at the 2006 Winter Olympics (and who consequently fined him $3,800--2,826.00 € at press time). Like so many other Italian imports (Giada de Laurentiis, Ferragamo pumps, Fabio), Grom has an intrinsic layer of sexy that its stateside counterparts lack. One wall is covered with semi-pornographic photos of ingredients so fresh you may be tempted to slap them. Spring water, eggs, coffee beans, chocolate—all of them are captured from mere centimeters away, and it’s almost more than I can handle. These folks are big into their ingredients. The owners, Federico Grom and Guido Martinetti, have become involved with the Slow Food Foundation, and certain among the flavors on their menu are highlighted with the special Slow Food Snail, to indicate that it will take even longer for you to burn off these calories than the others you have packed in during your visit.
In all, I got to sample, in larger and smaller quantities, seven flavors—all of which, before I enter into more detailed analysis, were lovely. My first serving was divided between Tiramisu and Zabaione, which was made with
The tri-fold brags that, in addition to its being low in calories, “Grom gelato is the ideal, guilt-free dessert, with less cholesterol, carbohydrates, and 50% of the fat in super-premium brands.” Whatever you say, fellas, so long as it means I can eat more of it and not hate myself in the morning. And so, guilt no longer a factor, I got back in line for a second cup. The fact that the Coconut sorbet and Pistachio gelato I ordered were numbers six and seven in my tasting lineup may have contributed to their not being as extraordinary as their predecessors. A Californian transplant to Rome—and so, you would guess, someone who knows her fresh produce—told us when we were in Italy that the way to ascertain whether gelato is authentically artisanal is to check out the Banana and Pistachio flavors—both of which should be brown in color (like the ingredients themselves when they’re all mashed up), and not worrisome, day-glo® yellow or green, respectively. Grom’s Pistachio—noted on the menu as snail-worthy—passed the test, and the Coconut had the Ruby Red’s same impressive creaminess (although coconut milk is both creamy and non-dairy, and so it seems sort of like cheating). Both grew a bit boring after a few spoonfuls, but again, if they had been my evening’s only gelati, I think I would have been satisfied.The only major downside of Grom (aside from the lines, which we handily avoided by going near closing on a rainy Wednesday) is the prices. I paid $5.14 for each of my small cups, and they were quite small. I guess the snails don’t eat for free. But maybe this exorbitance is for the best; if the rent weren’t so high, I might just pitch a tent and move in.